I thought I was done after the Randolph trade, but I am back with more wacky ideas because this is fun and I cannot stop believing.
People who have read me know I am not a Monta Ellis fan and once again I try to trade the man who Hollinger ranked as the biggest ball hog in the NBA.
The Warriors went from a team that looked deep in potential and in fair-to-mediocre talent to one that now has a lot of game-tested talent, but with a very short bench.
What I am proposing is doing something that might make our starting five a little weaker but will improve our depth and our future prospects.
Memphis has had a crush on Monta for a while due to Rudy Gay's ridiculous contract. They are also looking for a way to dump their past draft failures and receive some wiggle room in the future.
The Warriors trade Monta Ellis and Dan Gradzuric's expiring contract (can be exchanged for Vlad Rad or Charlie Bell) for a sign-and-trade of Xavier Henry, Mike Conley, and Hasheem Thabeet. This is a trade for the future.
Mike Conley and Hasheem Thabeet are rightly considered draft busts, but Conley had a draft combine worthy of John Wall and may just need a change of scenery to flourish.
We have Jeremy Lin as a backup for Curry, but with Conley we would have one of the best backup points in the league and a guy who could play with Curry in a pinch.
Thabeet at worst could be a serviceable backup or third center.
At best, a future piece that could provide the defensive center we will need with David Lee as one of our cornerstones (In case you don't know, David Lee does not know what defense is). Thabeet is also a trade chip in case we want to make another move.
Xavier Henry on the other hand is the centerpiece.
It gives us a long shooting guard (6'5'' without shoes and 8'9'' standing reach) for the future who is defensive minded and will be a skilled marksman.
In the meantime, he can fill in as a backup two or three. He will get his minutes behind Reggie Williams, who will be first off the bench. Given Dorell Wright's spotty health through his NBA career, we will need the depth.
Here is what nbadraft.net had to say about Henry's strengths.
"His body is NBA ready— built like a freight train possessing tremendous strength."
"Ideal frame for a shooting guard or small forward at the next level. Naturally gifted scorer (28 ppg as a HS senior) with a deadly shooting eye."
Prolific shooter from beyond the arc with tremendous range. Pure stroke with a quick, smooth release. No hitches...Uses his legs very well on his shot getting good lift...Effective slashing to the hoop where he can attack the rim and seek out contact...Finishes extremely well, shrugging off defenders with ease...Gets to the free throw line regularly and is automatic."
"Active on the glass...Can be a terrific rebounding wing with his strength and freakish wingspan (6.7 per game in 2009 and 7.2 in 2008)"
"A thief when playing off the ball defensively, reading passing lanes and intercepting passes (1.7 spg through his first seven collegiate games)."
"Refreshing positive attitude on the court. Always smiling, seeming to truly enjoy the game of basketball...Hard worker and very coachable, which is rare for a player of his stature."
The Grizzlies starting five is now PG OJ Mayo, SG Monta Ellis, SF Rudy Gay, PF Zach Randolph, and C Marc Gasol. That is a heck of a starting five.
They need to fill out their roster, but that is a team that might finally make the playoffs since the departure of the elder Gasol.
The Warriors sign Allen Iverson to the veteran's minimum. He can replace Monta's scoring with better passing and will keep butts in the seats, but is a bigger risk than Monta this year.
Iverson was not amazing last year, but I think that is due as much to rust and surrounding talent than age. In fact, I would argue that he played with the wrong team.
In playing with the Sixers, he played with a team that did not have good shooters.
While the Warriors have lost many of their shooters, we still have Curry, Williams, and with this trade, Henry.
We will have David Lee and Biedrins to clean the glass and drop in putbacks. It is the ideal team for Iverson's skill set. It will hurt us defensively, but it is not much of, if any, downgrade from Monta.
The great thing about this trade is that it gives us at least as good an opportunity to compete this year with the needed extra depth. Then it provides us with plenty of talent to develop or trade. It also ensures plenty of interest for our new owners.
Warriors new roster:
SF D. Wright/Williams/Henry/Vlad Rad
PF D. Lee/B. Wright/Udoh/Tolliver/Vlad Rad
Finally, a signing that has little downside. Iverson wants to start and has shown he will take a minimum salary. Worse case scenario, you cut Iverson.
For the future and the present...let's do it.